Grenfell Action Group: “All our warnings fell on deaf ears”

June 14, 2017 at 10:41 pm (class, environment, Human rights, London, posted by JD, privatisation, Tory scum, tragedy, workers)

It is becoming apparent that the residents of Grenfell Tower had made repeated representations to the (Tory) Council and the so-called Tenant Management Committee, about their fears over the safety of the building. But these were poor working class people, isolated within a prosperous borough. They were ignored, as the Grenfell Action Group’s blog demonstrates:

Posted on by

Watching breaking news about the Grenfell Tower fire catastrophe. Too soon (5am) to even guess at numbers of casualties and fatalities. Our heartfelt and sincere condolences to all who have perished, to the injured, to those who are bereaved or are still searching for missing loved ones.

Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC.

ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time. Below is a list of links to previous blogs we posted on this site trying to warn the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who own this property, and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation who supposedly manage all social housing in RBKC on the Council’s behalf:

Permalink 9 Comments

End #RailRipOff on Monday – protest at Kings Cross and stations across the country

January 3, 2016 at 12:30 pm (posted by JD, privatisation, profiteers, protest, RMT, Tory scum, transport, Unite the union)

In January, passengers returning to work after Christmas will see their fares rise yet again. Over the last five years rail fares have risen nearly three times faster than average wages. We have the highest commuter fares in Europe, yet services are often overcrowded, late and under-staffed.

Although the government has pledged to cap rail fare rises to inflation for this parliament, fares will still go up by one per cent in January 2016, making already exorbitant season tickets a cost too much to bear for most passengers. The Department for Transport’s own figures reveals the cost of the cap to taxpayers will be £700m over the parliament.

British passengers continue to pay much higher fares than passengers on publicly-owned railways in Europe. We need an affordable railway under public ownership that puts people before profit.

Come and join us at Kings Cross Station on Monday 4th January 07:30am – 09:30, and at stations across the country. We will also be asking supporters to email their MPs – watch this space for more details!

If you would like to organise an action at a station, please get in touch with us at

#EndRailRipOff Protests on Monday 4 January

(please note this list is regularly updated) Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 9 Comments

Turkish protests: the unions enter the fray

June 4, 2013 at 9:42 am (Civil liberties, civil rights, islamism, privatisation, protest, secularism, solidarity, turkey, unions, workers, youth)

The following report is from Juan Cole’s appropriately-named  Informed Comment blog, where some of the best available coverage of the Turkish protests can be found.

Posted by Juan Cole, 4th June 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is now risking Turkey’s economic miracle by his imperious reaction to the protests in dozens of cities that have roiled Turkey and are entering their fifth day. Two are dead and hundreds injured.  The Turkish stock market, which had been up 300% since 2009, has taken a hit.  The country’s $29 billion a year tourism industry is also imperiled (Erdogan should ask his friend, Egypt’s President Muhammad Morsi, what social turmoil does to tourism).  One of Erdogan’s boasts is that he has attracted billions in foreign investment, and in 2012 foreign direct investment was on the order of $16 billion (Turkey is ranked 13th in the world as a desirable place to put in such money).  But he’ll find that investors are skittish about urban street battles.

The news that  Turkey’s Public Workers Unions Confederation (KESK), representing coalition of 11 trade unions with 250,000 members has now announced a two-day general strike in sympathy with the protesters signals the entry of an element of class conflict into the movement.  The unions in Turkey are weak, having been destroyed by the secular right wing military dictatorship of the 1980s, which had the side effect of also destroying the Turkish Left as a viable political bloc.  The ruling center-right Justice and Development Party probably benefited in implementing its pro-market policies from the weakness of unions.  The unions and the remains of the Left may see an opportunity for revival.

Erdogan has blamed everyone but himself for the public discontent, decrying the ‘lies’ spread on Twitter, hinting darkly that the opposition party, the secular Republican People’s Party [CHP] had conspired to provoke the protests, and now even saying that the demonstrators are ‘linked to terrorists.’

Erdogan’s theory of what is happening shows an unflattering streak of paranoia and arrogance, and, worse, it is clearly wrong.  If a prime minister cannot understand what is happening in his own country, it is a very bad sign. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 6 Comments

Privatise the funeral!

April 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm (Jim D, media, privatisation, strange situations, Thatcher, Tory scum)

Today’s Mirror:

Kevin Maguire writes:
Privatising next Wednesday’s funeral would be a fitting tribute to Margaret  Thatcher.The former Prime Minister worshipped profits, distrusted public services and  flogged off the family silver at knock-down prices.So bankers and yuppies who harvested fortunes during the Tory leader’s reign  should pick up the £10million tab instead of taxpayers.G4S security guards, not troops, could line the route of the cortege.

And rather than St Paul’s, the service could be held in the offices of a  Mayfair hedge fund.

None of that is likely to happen, of course, and the country’s first and only  woman PM will receive a grand send-off from the British state.

The Queen’s royal seal of approval by attending may take the sting out of the  disapproval of a gun carriage farewell.

Yet I’ll admit my own surprise at the depth of public criticism of Thatcher  since she died.

I knew she created a lot of enemies, and entire communities suffered under  her stilettos.

She relished confrontation and Thatcher supporters can hardly complain.

But I, who despised her in the 80s, still feel uncomfortable at the sight of  people celebrating her death.

Conor Burns, a Tory MP, was making the best of a bad job in claiming she  would view the protests as a tribute. They are not.

Divisive in death as in life, Thatcher exposed deep fissures which she  deliberately widened.

The nation she wrongly claimed trade unions had rendered ungovernable in 1979  is terrorised in 2013 by the financial forces she unleashed.

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, a diehard foe of Thatcher, showed restraint in  Northern Ireland.

“Resist celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher,” he tweeted.

“She was NOT a Peacemaker but it is a mistake to allow her death to poison  our minds.”

Discipline, comrades, show ­discipline.


Privatise Thatcher’s Funeral: it’s what she would have wanted! Sign here

Permalink 2 Comments

Vigils against the NHS Bill today

March 19, 2012 at 1:53 am (Champagne Charlie, health service, labour party, privatisation, profiteers, Tory scum, welfare)

Today, Monday 19 March at 8pm, there will be a series of coordinated NHS Vigils, across the UK to draw attention to the importance of halting the Tory NHS Bill. Everyone interested in peacefully registering their opposition to the NHS Bill is welcome to attend (DETAILS BELOW).

The purpose of the meetings is to demonstrate to the House of Lords peers, the night before their crucial vote on the NHS, that people do not want this bill to become law. Only 14% of UK voters in the last YouGov poll actually wanted the NHS Bill to succeed. Two thirds of NHS workers also think the Bill will make things worse. We hope that peers look favourably upon the peaceful nature of the gatherings and give Lord Owen’s amendment, to halt the NHS Bill until the NHS Risk Register is published, the support it deserves.

Email if you’d like to attend. Please click the location of the demo you are interested for more details. Click tweet details of your local vigil to tweet your followers with details of your event.

London: St Thomas’s Hospital (contact @flutterbug20011) tweet details Cornwall: Treliske tweet details

Durham: Market Place (contact @Val_Hudson) tweet details Birmingham: Children’s Hospital & more here (contact @illdoitanyway) tweet details

Sheffield Hallam: (Nick Clegg’s Office) tweet details Merseyside: The Royal (contact @DebraPower or @NHS_vigil_Lpool) tweet details Newcastle: Grey’s Monument (contact @CarlKennedy77) tweet details

Belfast: The Royal Victoria Hospital (contact @LeftieHistorian) tweet details

Bath: The Pump Room tweet details

Nottingham: Market Square (the Lions) tweet details Plymouth: Derriford Hospital (contact @SuzyFlipp) tweet details Manchester Royal Infirmary (old entrance) tweet details

Middlesbrough James Cook Hospital (contact @CllrLenJunier) tweet details

Watford (Church Street) (contact @MillyTiz) tweet details

Leeds General Infirmary tweet details Hull: Queen Victoria Square or the local CLP page (contact @DermotR1968) tweet details York: Main Library, Museum Street (contact @MagsNews) tweet details

Oxford: Martyrs’ Memorial (contact @StuartGWhite) tweet details Bristol: College Green tweet details

Southampton Guildhall Square (contact @LaurEvans311) tweet details Brighton: Sussex County Hospital at 8pm (contact @JaneWuster) tweet details Worcester Royal Hospitalat 8pm  (contact @HummingBird1969) tweet details

Cardiff: at the Aneurin Bevan Statue on Queen Street at 8pm tweet details

Many thanks to Éoin Clarke of The Green Benches and the team at Labour Left for having put this together.

H-t: Left Futures

Permalink 2 Comments